Passion cultivates domains. If you’re passionate about something, there’s a good chance there is an entire other group of people just like you who love the same thing. And when that happens, there is a wonderful possibility that there is a convention for it.
Everyone has heard of ComiCon, but have you heard of any others? Conventions rule all over the world – crowds of people from all over, gathering together to celebrate a mutual love for the same thoughts.
The first (notable) convention I ever attended was Anime USA in Washington, DC. I’m not a huge fan of anime, but when you’re surrounded by so many people whose passion rings bells across the state, it’s difficult not to fall back into it. It was an amazing first experience, and many of the friends I have today, I met at this convention. Since then, I’ve attended AUSA twice, and I’ve also attended Katsucon and KCON.
It’s easy to think you’re alone in a fandom until you’ve attended a convention. On the east coast, especially in the state I’m in, the KPOP fandom is a very niche group. I flew all the way to LA to attend KCON, and it was an experience I will never forget. The entire area felt like home, and the people were just as welcoming. You could pick anyone from the crowd, strike up a conversation, and find a new friend. Conventions, in fact, stir up new hobbies and talents that can be used to benefit the people around you.
NB Photography & Media (photo owner) is an East Coast based photography group. Though they haven’t been around long, their photos have quality content and showcase how high caliber cosplay can be.
“I started going to cons in 2012, going with a small group of friends for panels concerts, etc. It was like that for three to four years until I got to travel out for cons. It was life changing because I was able to meet so many new people who I could call close friends now and hang out with them outside of cons. It’s a good way to network and just experience new environments and communities.” – Michael, NB
“I’m glad that the last Otakon in Baltimore was my first experience with conventions. I was able to make amazing memories and friendships with individuals with similar interests that extend beyond just that weekend! Otakon Day Zero will forever be one of the most lit events I have ever been to. I look forward to future cons and meeting more people because at the end of the day those connections leave the most lasting impressions.” – Christopher, NB
From my personal experience, the most notable memory I have is of a young cosplayer who happened to be standing by me. We danced a bit to some KPOP choreography, but I didn’t notice how excited she was to feel included until she thanked me for letting her dance with me. It was a small and pleasant reminder of how being yourself around hundreds of strangers can get you noticed.
“Cons are a vacation from reality. Everyone is doing the same thing. There’s judgement, but who cares? Everyone is enjoying what they’re interested in and having fun.” – Michael, NB
PSA for anyone who thinks they have no one to connect with in their fandom: go to a convention. You’ll meet some of the best people in the world.